Image from Annie Leonard.

Image from Annie Leonard.

AAG 2015 CFP – Discards, Diverse Economies, and Degrowth
Association of American Geographers
Chicago, IL
April 21-25, 2015
Session Organizers: Josh Lepawsky and Max Liboiron
Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must.
–Tim Jackson, (2009, 14). Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet.
Discard studies, diverse economies, and degrowth are each areas of research and activism that question a variety of interrelated assumptions. Discard studies troubles presumptions about who makes what waste, where, how, and under what conditions. Diverse economies research, often based in participatory action approaches, disturbs capitalocentric thinking and demonstrates that other economic practices are not just possible, but already here. Degrowth sums up a complex set of action and research toward attaining truly sustainable and convivial economies. Despite the actual and potential resonances between these areas, little in the way of explicit discussion between them has occurred to date. We ask how insights in one area might  inform, criticize, and compose with the insights of the others?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
– The role of economics and/or accounting in global pollution and waste crises
– The materiality of diverse economies and/or degrowth in terms of waste and discards
– The economic histories and geographies of waste
– Critical case studies of waste practices under degrowth strategies or diverse economies
– Issues of scale between local diverse economies and global capitalism in terms of mitigating waste and pollution

-The geographic imagination of discards or waste in diverse economies and/or degrowth research and activism
– Methodologies for studying these questions
– Ways to link research and action to address these issues

The intent of this session is to bring together work in these areas for a productive conversation and cross fertilization of ideas. Editors at Society & Space have expressed interest in contributions from the session being curated into an open access forum of short pieces for the Society & Space Open Site. The AAG will provide the opportunity to present work publicly in the usual session format and will additionally be accompanied by a workshopping event parallel to but outside of the formal AAG session. The workshop is for participants to comment on and collaboratively develop each other’s work.

Expressions of interest and abstracts should be sent in the text of an e-mail to:
Josh Lepawsky (
Information on AAG submission process:
Deadline for title and abstract (250 words max): October 5th, 2014.
This is an internal deadline separate from the AAG deadline.